Holi in HKU: An Outside Perspective

March 19, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

So… how was Reading Week? Yes, I can hear the groans and moans as we all recall the very awesome week we had that is back to bite us in the butt as midterms, assignments, projects, presentations come drowning us wave after wave. Don’t we just love karma. No worries, I’m doing my time as well, remember to say Hi to me in the library at 1am. =(

But, I would like to write a little about this very cool event that ended my Reading Week with a blast. Literally.

I don’t know where you were on Saturday, 15th of March, but I was at Repulse Bay. Throwing colour at people. Holi, they call this delightful celebration. I originally thought it was short for Holiday. Yes, very bimbo moment there I admit. Now Holi, according to Wikipedia (don’t judge) is known as the festival of colour, or also the festival of love. Wow. It is celebrated in India, Nepal, and other regions where people of Indian origin reside.

The main idea is to sing, dance, throw colour powder, have water fights, and basically have a great time. It’s the first time I’ve heard of Holi, but even as an outsider, the concept just spells fun (click HERE for the insider perspective by my fellow hKUDOS blogger Nikita Mathur).

So on that chilly morning, I chose my outfit very carefully.

Please take note that this is not an event where you dress to impress, it’s dress for BATTLE.

Our group of friends arrived earlier than most and played around a little while, when I asked for a mermaid’s tail,

They triedPhoto credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

but I don’t think they tried very hard,

then they decided to shape the human anatomy out of my sand-covered self,

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

and failed at that too.

Then as the crowd grew, the colour battle began. The organisers would pour some herbal colour powder from an authentic colour powder shop in India (please applaud their immense effort to make this celebration as authentic as possible) on to a plate/bowl

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

and put it in an open area for our disposal. It’ll usually be gone in seconds. A bowl of red colour powder was flung at my face sometime in the beginning and it felt like red mascara dripping off of my eyelashes for the next half hour.

Initially, if you’re a newcomer, people target your clothes, because they’re too clean to be allowed. Then as you become more “colorful”, your face and hair becomes the ultimate game. A friend looked like she’d dipped her head in a rainbow at one point. Pretty cool highlights they were. Red, pink, yellow, orange, green, don’t you wish art class was this fun back in primary school? I would’ve aced it every term.

Half of the people who turned up on that day were new to this celebration – locals and internationals looking for fun. I’m sure the South Asians would vouch that we played quite well.

We got more creative as time passed, and learned to sneak up on unsuspecting prey and empty buckets of coloured seawater over people who would scream in unison;

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

spray everyone with beer; hide our colour rations and smack people full on the face from behind,

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

oh you can say things got pretty intense.

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

The event ended with great snacks, beer, and dancing to a really good playlist

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

– hKUDOS to the DJ in the Pikachu costume.

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

When I went into the public restroom to wash up, I think I scared the living daylights out of an elderly lady waiting to use the restroom. I didn’t think it was that bad, you should see me with make-up on.

Photo credits: Htoi Awng and Valerie

All in all, my Reading Week ended in a blast of colours and I would like to thank the Holi organisers for their immense effort in making this event a huge success. We all learned something about Indian culture and look forward to celebrating Holi again with our South Asian friends next year.

Photo credits: Nikita Mathur

Left: Fellow hKUDOS blogger Nikita Mathur

Photo credits: Nikita Mathur

Right: Fellow hKUDOS blogger Karen Cheung

Photo credits: Nikita Mathur

Left: Fellow hKUDOS blogger Coco Mak

This event was co-organised by SCENe and the South Asian Society. SCENe is short for Student Cultural Exchange Network, a newly founded organization focusing on planning and executing events that integrate the local and non-local students on campus and is funded by CEDARS. Holi was their first event and it was a great success. They will be coming up with many more fun events so keep an eye on their Facebook page!

Remember to check out Holi in HKU: An Inside Perspective by my fellow hKUDOS blogger, Nikita Mathur!